Sunday, November 4, 2018

Reds Lights Out Versus Panthers

The number one ranked University of New Brunswick Reds, mired in a rare two game losing streak, took out their frustration on the visiting UPEI Panthers with a lopsided 7–1 victory last night at the AUC. The game was delayed due to a power outage caused by high winds in the Fredericton area with 8:30 left in the 3rd period and then eventually called off as both coaches agreed to make it official. The win puts UNB at 8-0-2 on the season and all alone in 1st place, two points clear of St. FX with a game in hand.

Much like their previous game against Moncton, UNB had an impressive opening twenty minutes as they out-shot the Panthers 18-4 and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The opening goal came at 4:42 when Matt Boudens got the puck to Alexandre Goulet for an uncontested wrist shot that was stopped by Panthers netminder Simon Hofley. The hard shot generated a rebound that came out to Oliver Cooper, who was all alone in front of the net, and the big forward made a quick move to his right before backhanding the puck past the goaltender. The Reds doubled their lead at 10:48 with a goal that showed just how funny hockey can be. After just missing a tap-in after a beautiful three way passing play, Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Anderson) found himself with the puck on the side wall. With no other option available, Clapperton decided to throw what appeared to be an innocent-looking shot towards. The puck bounced off of Hofley and into the net for a goal that the Panthers goalie would no doubt like to have back.

If the 1st period was impressive, the 2nd period was total domination. UNB held an 18-1 shot advantage and struck for four unanswered goals to effectively put the game away. At 2:54, while on the power play, freshman Mark Rassell (Boucher, Gatenby) notched his 5th of the season when he batted a juggling puck past Hofley before he could re-secure it in his glove. Oliver Cooper (Goulet, McIvor) scored his second of the game at 7:55 with the prettiest goal of the night. After stepping out of the penalty box, Cooper took a long stretch pass and went in all alone, turning Hofley inside out with a deke before sliding the puck into the left side of the cage. With the score now 4-0 the Panthers changed goalies, bringing in Matthew Mancina to try and stop the onslaught. However, it wouldn't make a difference on this night. Less than a minute later Clapperton took a centring pass from behind the night from Tyler Boland and quickly deposited it past Mancina. Mark Simpson (Brace, Rassell) capped the 2nd period outburst at 14:12 when he poked in a loose puck in the crease before it could be covered. For those scoring at home, after 40 minutes of play UNB had more goals (6) than UPEI had shots (5).

The Panthers got on the board 45 seconds into the 3rd period with Filip Rydstrom connecting on a 5-on-3 power play. This came as a result of the Reds bench being assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty after Matthew Boucher was given a cross-checking penalty. It didn't take long for UNB to respond with Tyler Boland (Anderson, Clapperton) finishing off a 2-on-1 rush with a one timer into an empty net.This would ultimately be the last goal of the night as the lights went out during play with 8:30 left in the game. Fortunately no one was injured during the few moments of darkness before the emergency lights came on. With their being no timetable for full power restoration - plus the fact that the result was not in doubt - both coaches decided to call the game and make it official.

- Shots in the game ended up being 46-8 for UNB.

- Noah Carroll, Patrick Watling, and James McEwan were all out of the line-up.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play while the Panthers were 1 for 6.

- The two teams split the 76 face-offs in the game. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the best night for UNB with 11 wins on 16 draws.

- 12 different players had points for UNB.

- Rylan Parenteau got the start in goal and obviously was not tested very often, finishing with 7 saves on 8 shots.

- Attendance was 2028 on a nasty night in the capital region.

- The Reds have beaten the Panthers 16 straight times at the AUC.

- This was the lone game in the conference on Saturday night.

- Up next for UNB (8-0-2) is a 1st place showdown with the suddenly hot St. FX X-Men (7-2-2) - winners of 6 in a row - on Friday night at the AUC. They then host the Dalhousie Tigers the next night. Both contests are scheduled for 7PM.